Sarah Moss

Unearthing Britannia's Tribes

Unearthing Britannia's Tribes

A BBC history of Iron Age Britain


From warrior queens to King Arthur, this epic collection explores the tribes, rulers and civilisations of Britain's Iron Age

In the first millennium BC, the Iron Age arrived in Britain, bringing with it huge technological and social changes. New civilisations arose, the landscape was transformed, and societies developed new cultures and lifestyles.

In this comprehensive collection, we take an in-depth look at Iron Age Britain and its inhabitants. The Essay: Unearthing Britannia's Tribes takes us on a 15-part 'woad trip' from the western reaches of Cornwall to the wilds of Scotland and Wales, as archaeologists, historians and writers reveal the peoples of ancient Albion and those who encountered them. We meet Queen Cartimandua, King Arthur, Boudicca, Pytheas and Lindow Man; hear the stories of the Cantiaci, the Demetae, the Durotriges and the Druids; and probe their myths, ideas and characters. Reaching journey's end, we learn how tribal Britain succumbed and was integrated into the Roman world. With the arrival of Caesar's armies, nothing would be the same again...

Bookending this fascinating series are three episodes from In Our Time, unpacking the context behind this pivotal period of history. In the first programme, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the transition from Bronze to Iron and the dawning of the European Iron Age; while the second and third examine the legacy of both the prehistoric Celts and their ultimate conquerors, the Romans, analysing their lasting impact on Britain today.

Production credits
In Our Time presented by Melvyn Bragg
Produced by Thomas Morris

The Essay: Unearthing Britannia's Tribes presented by David Miles, Caradoc Peters, Melanie Giles, Nicki Howarth-Pollard, Menna Elfyn, Ilka Tampke, David Greig, Ron Hutton, Mandy Haggith, Miles Russell, Sarah Moss and Guy de la Bédoyère
Produced by Ellie Bury and Mark Burman

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (In Our Time) and BBC Radio 3 (The Essay) on the following dates:

Part I: Context
In Our Time: The Iron Age 24 March 2011
With Barry Cunliffe, Sue Hamilton and Timothy Champion

Part II: Unearthing Britannia's Tribes
The Cantiaci 17 January 2022
Cornwall 18 January 2022
The Parisi 19 January 2022
Queen Cartimandua & the Brigantes 20 January 2022
The Demetae 21 January 2022
Boudicca-Warrior Queen 24 January 2022
The Maeatae 25 January 2022
In Search of The Druids 26 January 2022
Pytheas and the Iron Sea 27 January 2022
Arthur Begins 28 January 2022
Lindow Man 14 February 2022
The Roman Orbit 15 February 2022
The Atrebates 16 February 2022
The Durotriges 17 February 2022
Maidens, Matriarchs and Crones 18 February 2022

Part III: Iron Age Culture
In Our Time: The Celts 21 February 2002
With Barry Cunliffe, Alistair Moffat and Miranda Aldhouse Green

Part IV: Roman Invasion and Occupation
In Our Time: Roman Britain 1 May 2003
With Greg Woolf, Mary Beard and Catharine Edwards

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